In "The Calm of the Suns", Mathieu Ruhlmann (also known of labels such as Mystery Sea and S'Agita) gradually intrudes your perceptions using subtle and faintly recognisable recordings, while luring you into a dualistic mirage that's calm and haunting at the same time.
It shows that Mathieu has extensively dwelled on the borders of pure phonography, as his recordings are crystal clear, unnoticeably emerging and disappearing, inherently drawing attention away from itself.
In parallel, and perhaps distantly originating from the very occasional instrumental recordings ("Summerfall"), tonal drones form the foundational layers, providing a deeper harmonic additive and at times reaching a height in carefully crafted melodic textures ("Hares Honey Blood").
Whereas the beginning of this journey consists of more minimal elements, "The Calm" evolves towards a thicker and more pronounced ambience. This work requires several listens to hear just how nicely balanced the tracks are, and how well they fit into the whole. Rest assured you will discover new things every time.
Reviewer:The Funk Masta
April 1, 2013 Subject:
It's like the best ambient/background thing I ever heard.
For some reason I can't say it's a dark ambient because I felt only positive emotions while listening.
Hope there will be more tracks in near future.
January 23, 2008 Subject:
quiet and relax-inducing
I had never listened to Ruhlmann's work before, but now I am really happy of approaching "The Calm of the Suns". This album sounds tense and dark, using only a few minimalist elements and almost static soundscapes. Quiet atmospheres evoking desolated places make you fall in a nearly-trance state of mind.
January 6, 2006 Subject:
This is the second release of Canadian sound artist Mathieu Ruhlman for a Belgian label (this time for the excellent Entity netlabel, based in Ghent) and his latest online full-length album, and as some of his others works, "The Calm of the Suns" is a product of concrete surroundings, a post -technological landscape with only a few forms of life. The work is built on seven pieces, which one can imagine like different visits to the same solid building, but seven dense visits constructed with very few elements, which, given such conditions, is surprisingly coherent. Mathieu constructs elaborately quiet sound landscapes with the minimum elements necessary, shaping images of a dehumanized world, showing a paralyzed, consumed world alone by itself; seven (almost static) pictures of post-civilization. After the piece that opens the album and for which its named after serves as a illuminating presentation of Ruhlmans sound-world "Summerfall" shows is the most human face of the album, where he timidly draws from the background at once concise and stumped musical motive in a piano. This is maybe the most notable presence of human life on the record and is one of the highlights of the release. Containing tension and hopes, weak pulses, and the nocturnal condition these pieces are diluted one after the other immersing us in an empty vista only broken by a few, timid organic elements (slight clicks, background feedback in "brumal," slight, subtle micro-elements). In his third piece "Hares Honey Blood," Ruhlman elevates the suspense and the tension; here the elements are common to the other pieces but the use of feedback gains an outstanding plane in relation to the rest. The album closes with "Waterglass Anthers," the other highlight of the album. This is perhaps the most organic piece and serves as a beautiful exit towards the surface as well as the end for this excellent album. This is one of best releases by Entity to date.
April 18, 2005 Subject:
Mathieu Ruhlmann's "The Calm of the Suns" wraps me in climate of deep air, an atmosphere that tugs at my ribs, firm, its grip, unyielding yet free.
April 12, 2005 Subject:
very nice work
i highly recommend you listen to this if you would like some nice "background" atmosphere as i did